The Council today adopted a framework for restrictive measures in view of the situation in Niger.
This decision demonstrates the European Union’s resolve to sanction those who undermine the stability, democracy, rule of law in Niger, and constitute a threat to peace and security in the region. This new autonomous framework for restrictive measures is set to make a tangible contribution in supporting the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) towards swift return to constitutional order in Niger.
The EU has from the very beginning condemned the coup d’état in Niger in the strongest terms. With today’s decision, the EU strengthens its support to ECOWAS’ efforts and sends a clear message: military coups bear costs. In order to safeguard the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance or activities that support basic human needs in Niger, this new regime includes a humanitarian exemption.
Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Thanks to this new framework, the EU would be able to sanction individuals and entities responsible for actions that threaten the peace, stability and security of Niger, undermine the constitutional order, democracy, the rule of law, or constitute serious human rights violations or abuses, or violations of applicable international humanitarian law in Niger.
The restrictive measures consist of and asset freeze and prohibition to make funds available for individuals and entities, as well as a travel ban for individuals.
In order to safeguard the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance or activities that support basic human needs in Niger, this new regime includes a humanitarian exemption to the asset freeze measures in coherence with UN Security Council resolution 2664 (2022).
The EU remains engaged with the people of Niger through humanitarian support to relieve shortages of basic supplies. The EU has provided 58 tonnes of essential sanitary supplies, including medicine and medical material humanitarian air bridge in October.
On 26 July 2023, a military coup attempted to oust democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. Two days after, General Tchiani, chief of the Presidential guard, proclaimed himself President of the Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie (CNSP).
To this day, President Bazoum, who has refused to resign, is still being detained, along with his wife and son, in the presidential palace.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) reacted swiftly by imposing economic and financial sanctions and pursuing mediation efforts to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis while activating its Standby Force.
The EU immediately condemned the coup in the strongest terms with a statement dated 28 July. On 31 July, the High Representative Josep Borrell reiterated in a statement following the ECOWAS Summit, the EU’s call for the immediate and unconditional release of President Bazoum and for the full restauration of the constitutional order.
In its statement of 12 August 2023, the EU fully endorsed the efforts of ECOWAS and stated that it stood ready to support them, including through the establishment of a new regime of individual sanctions.
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